- Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)- Analgesic, antibacterial, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, digestive, sedative, uplifting.
* Photosensitive- avoid UV or direct sunlight for 48-72 hours after topical use (areas applied)
- Carrot Seed* (Daucus carota)- Antifungal, carminative, hepatic
- Cedarwood* (Cedrus atlantica) – Antifungal, anti-infectious, antiseptic, astringent, diuretic, sedative, insect repellant
* Use with caution during pregnancy
- Chamomile, Roman (Anthemis nobilis) –
Anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, antispasmodic
* Can cause irritation for VERY sensitive skin—very rare
- Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) – Antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, deodorizing, insecticidal
* Use caution during pregnancy, do not directly inhale, can irritate sensitive skin
- Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) – Anticonvulsive, antifungal, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, nerve tonic, sedative, soothing, tonic, warming
*Use with caution during pregnancy, NOT for babies, do not use before/after drinking alcohol
- Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) –
Analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiparasitic, strong antiseptic, antiviral, disinfectant, immune-stimulant
* Use with caution during pregnancy, may irritate sensitive skin, HOT oil- use proper dilution
- Copaiba (
copaifera reticulata) – Analgesic, powerful anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiseptic, stimulant (circulatory & pulmonary systems)
- Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) – Antibacterial, anti-infectious, antimicrobial, antiseptic, astringent, deodorant, diuretic, refreshing, relaxing
* Use with caution during pregnancy
- Elemi (
canarium luzonicum) – Anti-catarrhal, antidepressant, anti-infectious, antiseptic, expectorant, sedative
- Eucalyptus (eucalyptus radiate) – Antibacterial, anti-catarrhal, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, expectorant
* Not for use with children under 2
- Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) – Anti-parasitic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitoxic, diuretic, expectorant
* Use with caution during pregnancy or if susceptible to epilepsy
- Frankincense (Boswellia
carterii) – Anti-catarrhal, antidepressant, anticancer, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, anti-tumor, expectorant, immune-stimulant, sedative
- Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) – Antibacterial, antidepressant, antiseptic, astringent, diuretic, insect repellent, refreshing, relaxing, sedative, tonic
- Ginger (Zingiber
officianle) – Antiseptic, laxative, stimulant, tonic, warming
* Avoid direct sunlight for 3-6 hours after topical application.
- Grapefruit (Citrus x
paradissi) – Antidepressant, antiseptic, disinfectant, diuretic, stimulant, tonic
* Avoid direct sunlight or UV light for 12 hours after application. May irritate very sensitive skin.
- Helichrysum* (Helichrysum
angustifoliavar. italicum) –
Antibacterial, anti-catarrhal, anticoagulant, antioxidant, antispasmodic, antiviral, expectorant, mucolytic
- Juniper Berry* (Juniperus communis) –
Antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, depurative, diuretic, stimulant, tonic
* Do not use while pregnant or if you have kidney issues
- Lavender* (Lavandula angustifolia) –
Analgesic, anticoagulant, antidepressant, antifungal, antihistamine, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-mutagenic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitoxic, regenerative, sedative
- Lemon (Citrus limon) – Antidepressant, antiseptic, antifungal, antioxidant, antiviral, astringent, invigorating, refreshing, tonic
* Avoid direct sunlight for 12 hours after use. Can irritate skin.
- Lemongrass (Cymbopogon
flexuosus) – Analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, insect repellent, revitalizer, sedative, tonic, vasodilator
* Can cause skin irritation. Attracts Bees.
- Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) – Antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral, restorative, tonic
* Avoid direct sunlight for 12 hours after use topically.
- Manuka (
eptospermum scoparium) – Analgesic, anti-allergic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-infectious, antiviral, antihistamine, antiseptic, decongestant, antimicrobial
- Marjoram* (Origanum majorana) – Antibacterial, anti-infectious, antiseptic, antispasmodic, diuretic, expectorant, sedative ,tonic
* Use with caution during pregnancy.
- Melaleuca – Tea Tree (
melaleuca alternifolia) –
Analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant,
anti-parasitic, strong antiseptic, antiviral, decongestant, expectorant, immune stimulant, insecticidal, neurotonic, tissue regenerative
- Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) – Anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antitumor, astringent, tonic
* Use with caution during pregnancy
- Myrtle (Myrtus communis ssp. Red) – Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, antiseptic, astringent, expectorant, decongestant, deodorizer
- Neroli (Citrus aurantium
bigaradia) – Antibacterial, antidepressant, anti-infectious, antiparasitic, antiviral, aphrodisiac, deodorant, sedative, tonic
- Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) – Anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, antiseptic, stimulant, laxative, tonic
* Not for use when you have epilepsy. Use with caution during pregnancy. Only use in careful/proper dilution.
- Orange* – sweet (Citrus sinensis) – Anticancer, antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, digestive, sedative, tonic
* Avoid direct sunlight or UV light for 12 hours after topical use.
- Oregano (Origanum compactum, CT Carvacrol) – Antibacterial, antifungal, anti-parasitic, antiseptic, antiviral, antispasmodic, immune stimulant
* HOT oil – use in proper dilution, not for children under 2. Can cause extreme skin irritation.
- Peppermint (Mentha piperita) – Analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antiviral, invigorating
* Do not use for children under 2. Use with caution if you have high blood pressure. Use with caution during pregnancy & while breastfeeding.
- Pine-Antibacterial, Antifungal, Anti-inflammatory,
Analgesic, Diuretic, Energizing, Antiseptic, Decongestant, Antioxidant, Anti-Allergen, Anti-Microbial, Antitumor
* Can cause skin irritation in some people. Perform a small patch test before using topically.
- Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis, CT 1,8 Cineol) – Analgesic, antibacterial, anti-catarrhal, antifungal, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, expectorant
* Avoid during pregnancy.
Not for people with epilepsy.
Avoid if you have high blood pressure.
- Sage (Salvia officinalis) – Antibacterial, anti-mutagenic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, decongestant, diuretic, disinfectant, contains estriol (
* Avoid during pregnancy. Not for use if you have epilepsy or high blood pressure. Not for children.
- Tangerine (Citrus nobilis) – Anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory, laxative, sedative
- Valerian (Valerian
officinalis) – Antianxiety, antibacterial, antispasmodic, regulator, hypnotic, sedative
- Vetiver (Vetiveria
zizanoides) – Antiseptic, antispasmodic, calming, grounding, immune stimulant, warming, sedative, stimulant
* Use with caution during pregnancy
- Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) – Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, disinfectant, diuretic, stimulant (bone), warming
* Avoid during pregnancy. Not for people with epilepsy. Some people are very allergic to methyl salicylate – test small area for skin allergies before using!
- Ylang Ylang* (Cananga odorata) – Antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, sedative, tonic
Homemade Magnesium Oil
After reading about magnesium deficiencies, I decided to give homemade magnesium oil a try. The reason I wanted to try homemade magnesium oil instead of buying it is simply that it’s cheaper to make my own. Plus, I can be sure that nothing else is added to it.
Price Breakdown of Magnesium Oil:
Store Bought Magnesium Oil Average Cost $20.00 per bottle
Tub of Magnesium Flakes (44oz, about 5 1/2 cups) $13.00/Tub=$2.30/Homemade Bottle
I rounded out the numbers for easy math. Magnesium oil ranged from $13.00 to $35.00, so depending on your choice of brand, the numbers could be different. However, even with the cheapest store-bought bottle of oil, making my own is still the cheapest option. My glass bottle was $2.00. So the final number would be $4.30. This is still even cheaper than the least expensive store-bought bottle of oil. Since I can use my bottle over and over it’s even better!
Update: I checked the current prices on Amazon, all of the prices have gone up since I have purchased my supplies, but making your own is still more affordable than buying a premade bottle.
It was really easy to make once I gathered all of my ingredients. It would have been even faster if our little Princess hadn’t run off with my funnel. Why kids think funnels are the greatest toy ever, I have no idea, but I am constantly finding them all over the house. Unable to find my smaller funnel, I settled for the larger one. I’m so glad it fit in my bottle!
I started by heating filtered water in my electric tea kettle. Then I measured out 1 cup of magnesium flakes. I poured them into a bowl big enough to accommodate both the flakes and the water. I knew my 8oz bottle held a cup of water, but with the added magnesium flakes, I was sure I would have leftovers.
Pouring the flakes into the bowl was a treat for the ears. The kids loved hearing the little pieces tinkle into the glass bowl. They almost sounded like little glass pieces. I picked up a shard to examine it and found that it even glittered in the sunlight. My son picked one up and then complained of burning fingers, so I had him wash his hands. His hands were slightly damp so the magnesium must have been absorbing into his skin. I didn’t notice any tingling, burning or irritation as I had read about, so I hoped this meant I wouldn’t experience it as bad when I sprayed it on later.
I then measured a cup of hot water and poured it over the flakes. I noticed that they instantly started dissolving. I grabbed a fork and gently stirred until they were completely dissolved. The water was slightly cloudy but began to clear as it sat.
I poured the mixture slowly into the funnel and checked to make sure I didn’t overflow the bottle. I did end up having half a cup of the mixture left over. I’m going to use it to make some magnesium cream for the kids.
Bring water to a low boil. Pour 1/2 cup magnesium in a glass bowl. Add water to the bowl. Stir until dissolved. Pour mixture into glass spray bottle once cooled. Spray magnesium oil on lower legs after showering and massage in.
After the bottle was ready to go I excitedly sprayed it down my arms, legs, and stomach. Maybe because it was warm water still, it immediately began to tingle. I massaged and rubbed it into my skin. Then I noticed that it really began to burn. It makes me laugh to think of the description I read as a tingling sensation or a mild irritation. In truth, it felt like thousands of tiny needles pricking me. It wasn’t incredibly painful, just incredibly irritating.
I rubbed my hands over the irritated areas and it helped to stop the “stinging”. I made several “Notes to Self” for future reference.
- Don’t spray on eczema. Thankfully washing it off the eczema patch stops the burning instantly. After re-rubbing my arms, I kept getting more magnesium oil on my eczema on my hand. I put my eczema cream on it and it helped protect the area so I didn’t have to keep washing my hands with water.
- Don’t rub between the thighs or in any other sensitive area. I had read about avoiding sensitive areas, so I was careful to only spray on the tops of my arms and legs. However, when I was massaging it into my skin, I did forget and rub it too close to my inner thighs and experienced a slight cringe-worthy moment.
- Wear shorts or something that makes it easy to access your legs. I was wearing a maxi skirt and had to hold it up as I rubbed my legs which led to me not paying close enough attention, hence the inner thigh exposure.
- The kids would freak out if I did this to them, so I’ll make them a less irritating cream instead.
Despite the tingling sensation, I’m not going to stop using my homemade magnesium spray. From what I’ve learned, the sensation is temporary. When I massage the irritated areas, the tingling dissipates for a while. I think if I am busy working it wouldn’t bother me. After about an hour the tingling had completely subsided. From what I’ve read, the burning is a sign that the body is incredibly deficient in magnesium. The more often the spray is used, the less the tingling will be.
I’ve been using magnesium oil for about two and a half years now. I’ve learned a few more things:
- The spray doesn’t tingle as much when it’s room temperature.
- I spray it on the top of my lower legs and not my upper legs. I also spray it on the lower top half of my arms, not the soft underside. This helps as the skin is tougher in these areas.
- The more frequently I use the spray, the less irritating it is.
- It makes my skin feel slightly damp. This feeling doesn’t really go away on its own. I find that rubbing shea butter or coconut oil on my legs afterward helps it absorb and feel less gross.
- I notice that my anxiety gets high if I forget to use the spray for a while. This means that I’m more deficient in magnesium.
Have you ever used magnesium oil? Let us know if you try our recipe!
*I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice. These are my own personal experiences. Should you feel you need medical advice, as always, consult a medical professional. If you’d prefer more natural medical help, look into a chiropractor, a naturopath, an integrative medical doctor or a holistic practitioner.
What’s In My Bag?
As someone with severe, life-threatening, airborne allergies, I need to carry some things with me at all times. This means that whatever I carry must be light and easily accessed. In addition, I need others to be able to find my emergency information fast. I also need a way to alert strangers to my allergens should I become incapacitated.
Top row, left to right: iPhone, pretty rocks, Vogmask, spare change, checkbook, pens and sharpie, essential oil roller bottles, Badger lip balms, Redmond Bentonite clay, Frozen tissues, hair binder and bobby pins, whipped eczema body butter, and wallet.
Middle row, left to right: allergy alert paperwork, backup star face mask, epi-pen, albuterol inhaler, and coin purse.
Bottom row, left to right: purse organizer, allergy tag, EpiPen tag, purse.
I keep both my lip balm and Cupcake’s lip balm for when she needs it. Next to that I keep my essential oil roller bottles. I usually have a couple more than what’s pictured. I normally carry an anti-anxiety blend, first aid blend, Cat’s sore wrist blend, and Mr. Awesome’s ADHD blend. Behind that, I tuck my tissues into one of the pockets.
My phone has medical alert information for emergency personnel. My wallet has my insurance cards, my ID, my bank card, and membership cards.
I keep both face masks in a zipper pouch to keep them clean and safe from dust and other contaminants. I take them out and use them in dangerous places where I might potentially be exposed to airborne allergens.
The kids and Nate are always bringing me pretty rocks. I stash them in my purse till I get home and put them in little bottles or on shelves. I’m a rock nerd. 🙂
I keep my eczema cream in a little jar. I also keep bentonite clay in a little container for emergency use. Bentonite clay can help absorb toxins, it kills viruses and bacteria, reduces swelling and helps to reduce allergy symptoms from accidental internal exposure(eating allergens by accident). It can also be used for bug bites.
My inhaler has saved my life many times. I’m not a fan of most pharmaceuticals, but when it comes to asthma, I don’t mess around. Thankfully, I rarely have asthma attacks anymore since I cut wheat from my diet.
My epi pen still scares me, even though I’ve had it for years. I’ve taught my family how to use it should I ever pass out.
What do you keep in your purse or bag?
Eczema is the body’s warning bell that something is wrong. I occasionally have eczema flare-ups. For me, it means I’ve been exposed to corn, which is something I developed an allergy to about a year ago. It shows up on my right hand almost immediately following ingestion of something corny.
An immediate flare-up is usually hot and painful. It can itch terribly, especially as time progresses. First, I tried coconut oil, my usual dry skin relief. Unfortunately, it was not enough to soothe my angry skin. Looking for something more effective but also allergy friendly and non-toxic, I found Dr. Axe’s recipe.
After making a few jars of whipped eczema body butter, I found that the amount of honey the original recipe called for was too sticky. With this next batch, I’m going to change a few things. I’m hoping that by using a tsp of honey instead of a tablespoon, it’ll be less sticky and more smooth.
Although the original recipe was sticky, it worked wonderfully. I’ve found it soothes the itch and lessens the severity of damage. A little goes a long way. I keep a jar in the fridge for the fluffy whipped texture. I also keep a container in my bedroom and a small container in my purse. At room temperature, the mixture falls flat, but it’s still effective. It works so well, I share little jars of it with friends.
Whipped Eczema Body Butter
1/2 cup raw shea butter ( I use this)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tsp local honey
30 drops lavender essential oil
8 drops tea tree essential oil
5 drops geranium essential oil
3 drops myrrh essential oil
3 drops frankincense essential oil
Blend with a whisk, on low, until shea butter and coconut oil until well combined. Add remaining ingredients. Whisk on medium until fluffy. Use a spatula to scrape sides of the bowl and mix lightly again. Divide into containers and refrigerate.
What do you use for eczema? Have you tried this recipe? Let us know!
Homemade Bug Spray
With summer right around the corner, I decided to whip up a batch of homemade bug spray. With 4 little ones, I needed something that was 1.Safe to use on kids, 2.Safe for those of us with allergies 3.Non toxic, 4.Affordable and last but not least 5. It needs to actually work. If it could also not smell horrible, that would be a plus.
I set about my project as I do with most new tasks to tackle, research, research, research. I wanted to be sure that whatever I chose, it would meet all of my expectations above.
I have read a lot of differing information about the safety of using essential oils on children. Some say that essential oils are natural, therefore go nuts! As someone with allergies to a lot of “natural” things, I know that it is better to err on the side of caution. Since essential oils are highly concentrated forms of the original, it only makes sense to me that less is more. After reading about an alarming number of injuries and deaths from essential oils, I knew I wanted to proceed with utmost caution. I joined a few essential oil safety groups on Facebook to learn about what books, websites, and companies would aid me in my search.
I found this awesome site that lists oils that are and are not safe for children:
As with any new product that comes into our house, oils and accessories need to be safe for our unique allergies. I wondered 1. How are they processed 2.What hidden ingredients are there 3. Has anyone else in my allergy group had any reported reactions?
Corn Allergy Statement
This recipe is unfortunately NOT corn free. Thayer’s witch hazel uses citric acid as a preservative. Princess and I do break out in mild hives if applied to the skin, so I try to spray mostly on our clothing, with a light application on exposed skin Since we live in a high mosquito area, a few small hives are preferable to having entire limbs swell up from mosquito bites. Thankfully using this has not created any breathing problems, but we will always stay on alert for safety since the severity of allergens can change at any time. I’m, hoping to learn how to make my own witch hazel in the future.
This is a no-brainer for me. If it has ingredients I can’t pronounce, it’s off the list. I believe part of why I am allergic to so many things and have been so sick in the past is due to the fact that I have been exposed to too many toxins. I want to decrease the bucket load of toxins for my family and me.
We live in Minnesota so we get a lot of mosquitoes. I need something that I can afford to use a lot of.
Let me break down what making homemade bug spray costs for you. I’m using Young Living, and also NOW for the prices.
8oz Bottle $2.00
15 Drops Lavender Essential Oil at 9 cents a drop $1.35YL or >2 cents a drop $0.23NOW
15 Drops Cedarwood Essential Oil at 5 cents a drop $0.75YL or >1 cent a drop $0.13NOW
10 Drops Geranium Essential Oil at 17 cents a drop $1.70YL or >3 cents a drop $0.28NOW
20 Drops Vanilla Essential Oil at 10 cents a drop $2.00
Young Living does not sell vanilla essential oil because vanilla is not an essential oil. I instead used the price for the vanilla oil I got from my local health food store.
4oz Witch Hazel $3.03
4oz Distilled or Boiled(and Cooled) Water Free!
This ends up being $10.83 for the first bottle and $8.83 for each refill with Young Living.
Or $7.67 for the first bottle and $5.67 for each refill with NOW.
For a price comparison
Burt’s Bees Outdoor all Natural herbal Insect Repellent 4oz bottle $13.50= $27.00 for 8oz
Honest Co Bug Spray 4oz $11.69= $23.38 for 8oz
BabyGanics Shoo Fly Deet Free Natural Insect Repellent 2 oz $4.99= $19.96 for 8oz
So there you have it! Homemade bug spray wins the price comparison again!
I sprayed the kids at the beginning of mosquito season as they went out to jump on the trampoline at dusk. They came in with one bite on one kid. Earlier this week we had a bonfire. Cupcake and I stayed out the longest. I sprayed myself an average amount of spray. I was wearing a skirt, so my legs were pretty exposed. I did get one bite on my foot and after that, I made sure to spray my feet too. I didn’t get another bite after that. I was lying in a lounge chair and I saw several mosquitoes fly around me and close to my skin before changing their mind and flying off. Incredible! I’d definitely say that it’s effective!
I read that adding vanilla oil increases the duration of the effectiveness of oils. In bug spray, the longer it works, the better!
What is more comforting than not being eaten alive? Seriously, I have been bug bait my whole life, mosquitos love me. I’m so happy I’ve finally found something that works!
I was worried the smell would be gross after mixing everything in the bottle. It’s actually quite pleasant. It smells better than all of the chemical ones I’ve been using my whole life.
First Homemade Bug Spray Attempt
Ultimately, I decided to give one of the oil blends from this site a try:
After assembling all of the supplies, I waited anxiously for my daughter to arrive home from school. I promised her we would make the first batch together. I had everything set up and ready to go on the table and I pretty much sat at the table waiting for her to walk through the door so we could play. Ahhh, big kid toys are just as fun and exciting.
We started by dropping oils into our bottle, stopping to smell each one as we went. Cat helped me count in case I lost my place. I had already boiled and cooled the water before she came home, so we added that in and topped it off with witch hazel. After we shook it up we both excitedly took a whiff of our new concoction and grimaced. It didn’t exactly smell awesome. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t very pleasant either. Oh well, it is supposed to repel bugs after all.
Next time, we are going to try lavender scented witch hazel instead of aloe vera. I believe this might have contributed to the weirdness.
Homemade Bug Spray
15 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
15 Drops Cedarwood Essential Oil
10 Drops Geranium Essential Oil
20 Drops Vanilla Essential Oil or 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract*
4oz Witch Hazel
4oz Distilled or Boiled(and Cooled) Water
Add Oils to bottle first. Add in water next, then top off with witch hazel. Test a small area of skin on each person before using liberally. Spray on clothes and especially ankles and wrists for adults. With small children, avoid spraying hands or near faces to avoid accidental ingestion or rubbing eyes.
*Vanilla oil is not an essential oil
Thank you for reading! What do you use for bug spray? Have you tried ours? I would love to know how it works for you!
As always, this is not medical advice. Please consult your own medical practitioner for any health-related concerns. Everything shared in this blog is based on my own personal experiences and are what we do for our family but may not necessarily work for yours. Please do your own research to find out what works best for you. An informed and educated choice is always best! 🙂